People need challenges. They need others to challenge them, and they also need to challenge themselves. I believe every aspect of our person, every nook, ever cranny, needs to be stimulated, questioned, and challenged. Otherwise, that aspect will die, or even worse, run away with the reins and go wild. That's one reason why I think we find people at the bars on a Friday night chugging the alcohol, and looking for someone to go home with. Their senses and intellect and heart have not been challenged, and so what's the point. They find something else that makes them feel alive for one night, and then it's back to their realities of dullness and consistency.
We should be constantly looking for things to awaken us, to bring our senses and our minds back to life. Sometimes I think that religion helps kill this. It tells us to go to one place to find Truth and Love, and to look for it in the other people that are going to that one place. And let me say this, the Bible is the ultimate source of Truth, but Jesus is not confined in the Bible. Jesus is alive.
One aspect of myself that I find hard to keep challenged is the part of me that looks for and finds Truth and Love everywhere. I picture myself as somewhat of a wanderer that picks up Truth and Love along the way, wherever it has fallen on the ground. But not a lazy wanderer, an impassioned adventurer - looking for Truth and earnestly seeking out Love. The problem is the church is not encouraging this quest, but the world does - the artists, and the lost, and the "weirdos", are all teaching to keep an eye out for that truth and transformation (they're just not talking about real Truth all the time).
But it's there - Truth. It's there in abundance. In the holy and the secular of this world. God created it to be there. He made creation to hold Truth; He made man to hold Truth. The fall just enabled us to carry around good Truth and bad truth at the same time. And so with the fall, the earth and man in it acquired tons and tons of lies along with the Truth. But we shouldn't stop looking. To avoid the lies, we shouldn't want to miss the Truth that is to be found out there. We just need help - we need the Holy Spirit to help us discern, and we need other people who are seeking Truth in all places like we should be.
If Jesus ate with sinners, why would Truth only be found in the church? I don't think it would, and I don't think it should. Jesus told His disciples that if they stopped praising Him, the rocks would cry out in praise. Rocks. If we look, we can find Truth there, too. And God created man, and it was good. The fall brought lies and evil into the equation, but God still created man to be good. And somewhere among all the deception and lies, is Truth - the Truth that we were created to be in His image.
That's why even the bartender has Truth for his customers, and why the drunk man speaks Truth without knowing it. And why I can be at a Dave Matthews concert, surrounded by a bunch of people getting high who are just looking for the wrong truths, and see Jesus, and hear Truth in the lyrics of the music that seems as if it was composed for the purpose of sharing and revealing Truth.
It's only Truth if it aligns with the words that Jesus spoke, and the words of the Bible that He has given us. But that's not the only place to find it. If it were, then what would bring the drunks at the bar to the church in the first place? I like to believe they found some Truth at the bar and it made them thirsty for more.
So please challenge me to do this, and challenge yourselves. Don't close your eyes when you're outside because you're afraid of the lies. Seek out the Truth. Go outside and get dirty looking for it. Uncover some beautiful Truth that God has spoken into this world, whether it be through creation, or through one of His created beings.
I think we believe that the only way Truth can be drunk is straight - cold, hard, Truth. I believe there is Truth in that statement. But sometimes when we find Truth, it's not in that form. We have to whittle away the lies and the half-truths that have been built around it to get it in its purest form. That's our job, though, to whittle away, and search, and passionately seek out Truth, wherever it may be hiding.
Drink it straight when you find it that way, but don't be afraid to order Truth on the rocks. You may just have to try a little harder to taste it, but therein lies the challenge. And when we're challenged, we grow.